The Rt Hon The Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, Secretary of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
In an increasingly competitive world, we find ourselves facing new challenges in keeping our nation secure, our people prosperous, and our planet healthy.
Britain has a long history of leadership and innovation, from the steam engine to the World Wide Web, that has brought growth and prosperity to both our nation and the world. As we look towards the future, investment in science and technology is more important than ever. It is at the heart of the Prime Minister's priorities: halving inflation to ease the cost of living and provide people with financial security, building a stronger economy with better jobs, and ensuring that NHS waiting lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly.
Despite our relative size, Britain outperforms our closest competitors and we are a main challenger nation to the US and China in many areas. We have four of the world's top ten universities and a technology sector worth over one trillion dollars. If you put together just eight of our university towns, they are home to more billion-dollar unicorn start-ups than the whole of France and Germany combined.
However, when others – France and Germany among them – are moving further and faster to invest in science and technology, we have got to do the same.
That is why we have created the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology, focussing our best minds around a single mission: becoming the most innovative economy in the world.
We will do this by ensuring that Britain as a Science and Technology Superpower does not just challenge the rankings, but translates the benefits of that position into material benefits for British people.
Because a better future will be driven by Britain’s boldest businesses, whether that means using artificial intelligence to predict when equipment or machinery is likely to fail, allowing for proactive maintenance, reducing downtime, or the use of quantum computers to discover new life-saving drugs.
The Science and Technology Framework is a strategic vision which sets out ten key actions to achieve this goal by 2030. We must attract the best talent from around the world, build a skilled workforce for tomorrow's industries, provide infrastructure and investment to bring technologies to market, and encourage a regulatory environment that supports innovation.
This is an ambitious plan, and we will use every lever in government to deliver it, working closely with industry and academia leaders from both Britain and the world. Each lead department has been developing action plans so we can meet our strategic goals – a flavour of these plans is shared in the framework and any future policies in these areas will need to drive forward our strategy. My department will ensure we are working together to deliver and become a Science and Technology Superpower by 2030.
Our Department will be driven by a relentless focus on tangible improvements that matter to communities across the country, growing the economy and improving public services to help British people live longer, smarter, healthier, and happier lives.